Paige and her coven were set to arrive the next day, so Kenzie and Hayden stayed another night at the Crowley house.
Before the coven’s arrival, Kenzie had to make another choice. She and Hayden were discussing it now, in bed in the guest room once again, with Kenzie hoping she wouldn’t have to make another mad dash to the bathroom to vomit, as she’d been doing quite frequently all day.
“It’s entirely up to you,” Hayden assured her. “Don’t make any decisions of this magnitude for anyone but yourself.”
“I’m just scared either way. I’ll be a hybrid, and supposedly hybrids have the abilities of both species they’re part of, but does that include the bad things, too? For a witch, that would mean random freaky happenings every time I had an emotion spike. For a werewolf, I’d uncontrollably transform during the full moon, and I’m sure I’d look hideous.”
“You would never look hideous. Ever.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that.”
Hayden propped himself up and looked into Kenzie’s eyes as he wiped a tear off her cheek.
“Besides,” he said reassuringly, “there’s no guarantee you’d get all the bad things, too. I’ve heard legends that hybrids only have the good parts, but not the bad. So you may get magical powers but your emotions wouldn’t cause any adverse effects, or you may get superior senses but you won’t transform during a full moon. Let’s try to think positive.”
“I’m scared, Hayden. I’m going to have blood taken out of me through a spell. It would be bad enough if a doctor did it. But…”
“Actually, we considered having Isaiah come to supervise, since he has doctoral training. But Austin said that Miranda has medical training as well. So she’ll be here for the spell and the medical equipment portion of this thing.”
“Hayden, you were so against this at first. Why are you all for it now?”
“Because I agree that it’s better than the alternative. I don’t like it one bit, but I refuse to lose you. If there’s any way at all to save you, I’ll do it. I don’t care what it takes. Besides, it’s the least I owe you, since it’s my fault this happened.”
“How the hell is it your fault?”
“I should have sensed that bastard in Moonlight Falls. I should have known that werewolf was there. And then he bit you, and that’s what triggered all this. I’ve beaten myself up for that every single day, and I’d like to literally kick my ass for not protecting you.”
This time, Kenzie sat up as Hayden lowered himself back onto the bed. She looked him square in the eyes as she averred, “Hayden Howland, what happened was not your fault. Maybe it was fate. I learned things about myself I never knew before. As long as I have you, I’ll be okay. I know you’re here with me, and I know you’ll do whatever you can to keep me safe. I love you, Hayden. I love you so much.”
“And I love you too, Kenzie Howell.”
Kenzie leaned down and kissed him tenderly.
Hayden wrapped his hand around her neck, making her heart melt.
“Kenzie,” he said when they took a breath, “I have the utmost confidence that you’re strong enough to get through this. And when you do, I’ll be right there with you. And there’s something I have for you when this is all over.”
“It’s a surprise. You’ll see.”
“Well, now I have even more of a reason to get through this. But you know I hate needles and the like. I’m still scared.”
“I am too. I won’t deny it. But I have faith in you, Kenzie. I swear to the creator I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Kenzie knew that Hayden was trying to be brave for her sake, but what could he do to protect her? Yet somehow, she believed that him being by her side would be enough. And she really wanted to know what the surprise was that he had for her. She had a very important reason to fight now, more so than before.
Hayden suddenly sat up and nibbled her ear, making her giggle. He was always trying to lighten the mood, and she did appreciate it.
“Hayden,” she whispered, “you know what you were suggesting last night? How about I take you up on that offer now?”
“In a guest room in our friends’ house?”
“I’ll do the laundry myself. It’s common courtesy since we’ve stayed in here for the past two nights, anyway. And I want to have something to remember, just in case.”
“You’re going to be fine, Kenzie. I’ll make sure of it.”
“Then give me something to remember for when I wake up.”
“Well, I suppose I shouldn’t disappoint my mate, then.”
Hayden teasingly stuck Kenzie’s hand into his mouth and swirled his tongue around her fingers. Kenzie giggled once more before letting gravity take its toll as she collapsed back down onto the bed. Hayden climbed on top of her, and proceeded to give her the night to remember that she’d wanted. She just prayed she’d be able to remember it after the next day’s events.
The coven arrived mid-morning. Kenzie had been dreading their arrival, even though she knew this was the only way she could be cured.
Austin affirmed that he’d tried combining her blood with other elements similar to how he developed vampiric sunscreen, but to no avail. Even the pure fairy blood that had helped develop the cure for vampirism had no effect on Kenzie’s “tribrid” blood. This truly was the last resort.
Cheyenne stayed home with Mason, but Austin’s presence was required in case a scientific method was needed. They all migrated to Austin’s lab, where there was plenty of equipment available, including a bed, though it was normally used for test subjects.
Kenzie was lying across the bed with Hayden clutching her hand tightly. The coven was preparing their chant while Austin assisted Miranda with hooking up all the medical equipment. A science lab had such things in stock as well considering the test subjects they had. Luckily, Wolfson’s doubled as the town’s hospital, so there was a plethora of supplies available for either profession.
Kenzie hardly slept a wink the night before, despite Hayden successfully tiring her out. Her mind was racing, but it wasn’t just because of what was about to occur. She’d been thinking of which blood type she’d keep in her system and which she’d expunge. After weighing the pros and cons of each in her mind, she’d finally made a decision.
But she wasn’t prepared for what Miranda told her next.
“Austin did some calculations,” she said, “and it’s possible that, even with this spell, too much blood could be taken out of your body. If that happens, well, you know what that will mean, so I’ll spare you the specifics. Theoretically, if you had enough of a certain supernatural blood in your system, as in more of one of the two types you have, it could override the other one and you’d be okay. But it’s safer to try to extract some out rather than try to put more in. So, in the event that too much blood gets removed, we’ll need to counteract that. And the only way to do that is to inject more blood into you, just like a regular transfusion. But it has to be supernatural blood, because human blood won’t be strong enough. As for which type of supernatural blood…well, have you made a decision?”
Kenzie gripped Hayden’s hand tighter in her own. She had finally made a decision, but she hadn’t even told Hayden yet. It was time he found out what she’d decided.
“Werewolf,” she said simply. Hayden gaped at her, but she ignored his look of shock. “I thought about it all night. It’s not that being a witch would be bad, but I think the pros of a werewolf outweigh the ones of a witch. And the cons, well, I’d rather transform during a full moon and be part of my boyfriend’s pack than worry about every little emotion causing some sort of uproar. Plus, as a detective, I haven’t been having the best of luck getting cases since everyone wants supernatural creatures. As a werewolf, I’d have superior senses, and maybe even superior strength. It’s like this was meant to happen; I was bitten by a werewolf, and I healed super fast, and I’m dating a werewolf…it’s where I belong. I have my own ‘pack’ of friends and family. It’s who and what I am.”
“Kenzie,” Hayden stammered, “are you sure? Remember when you asked me what it was like to transform the night you were bitten? And everything else we talked about?”
“I’ve thought it over, Hayden. I want werewolf blood in my body with my human blood. I’ve felt closer and more drawn to wolves than any other creature. It’s what I want.”
Hayden leaned down and planted a kiss on Kenzie’s forehead. She smiled at him and squeezed his hand once again. In a way, she was looking forward to what this change might bring to her life.
No blood samples were necessary since Kenzie’s blood type was literally all over the place. Austin injected her with an anesthesia. She started to feel woozy almost instantaneously. She held Hayden’s hand the entire time before her eyes fluttered closed and she drifted off to sleep, though she was sure she felt her boyfriend’s lips on her head before she succumbed to unconsciousness.